Chesney, Francis Rawdon

Chesney, Francis Rawdon

(chĕz`nē), 1789–1872, British soldier and explorer in Asia. His examination of a route for the Suez Canal (1829) demonstrated the feasibility of building a canal and led the vicomte de LessepsLesseps, Ferdinand Marie, vicomte de
, 1805–94, French diplomat and engineer. He entered the consular service in 1825 and was minister to Spain (1848–49). Later, while serving in Egypt, he conceived the idea of a Suez Canal, and in 1854 he obtained from Said Pasha,
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 to undertake the project. In 1835, Chesney commanded an expedition to survey N Syria. He proved the navigability of the Tigris and Euphrates and urged the adoption of a Euphrates route to India. In 1856 and 1862 he was associated with a Euphrates valley railroad project, but the scheme fell through. His works include The Expedition for the Survey of the Rivers Euphrates and Tigris (2 vol., 1850) and Narrative of the Euphrates Expedition (1868).

Bibliography

See biography by his wife and his daughter (ed. by S. Lane-Poole, 1885).

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